posted second-quarter earnings Monday that fell in line with analysts' expectations, amid 8.7% same-store sales growth for the quarter and strong prescription sales.

Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen, the No. 1 drugstore chain in terms of sales, said its second-quarter earnings, excluding a one-cent gain from a litigation settlement, grew to $283 million, or 28 cents a share, from $239 million, or 23 cents a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue for the quarter grew 14.6% to $6.4 billion from $5.6 billion last year. Total same-store sales were up 8.7% even though the period was a day shorter than last year's, which fell during a leap year. The company also said its prescription sales, which accounted for 54% of sales in the quarter, climbed 20%, while same-store prescription sales rose 16.8%.

Walgreen, which opened 238 new stores in the first half, said it plans to open about 500 new stores this fiscal year and remains "on target" to operate a total of 6,000 stores by 2010. The company did not provide any forward-looking financial guidance.

"We're less affected by the ups and downs of the economy, as we've seen from the good tone of recent sales trends. The basic products we sell -- medicine, shampoo, toothpaste -- are needed by our customers regardless of economic climate," Walgreen said in its prepared statement this morning.

Shares of the company finished Friday at $40.78 in trading on the

New York Stock Exchange